I encourage everyone to read this post and bookmark this site because if the ‘about us’ section is any indication, this will be a site to watch with a real interest because they plan to write about the need to develop a bonified Muslim American Identity (a topic of importance to me) and not import one from the Muslim world.
In that light, they also have some thoughts on last weekend’s much discussed MANA Conference. They write:
Blackamerican Muslims had established a path to form a new Muslim identity that is until the immigration wave of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It is this wave that would forever change not only the makeup of the Muslim community in the country but also how Islam was defined and recognized amongst American society and the world over. Fast forward to today and many of the same dogmatic principles dominate Muslim discourse around the globe as they did in the mid to late 20th century in America – that is all issues foreign. Issues that are not a priority or even particularly relevant to the American scene are often the focus of Islamic conferences, TV specials, and even interfaith dialogue in America! Whether it is Pakistan’s politics or the problems of an Arab monarch, none have contributed to establishing a meaningful Muslim identity in the U.S., much less any resolutions to ills plaguing American society
I will add that many of the Blackamerican speakers at last weekend’s conference, including myself, have spoken on a number of issues regarding the Muslims all over the world. However, when it comes to issues that mostly affect Blackamericans – such as affordable housing, health care, gentrification and other urban issues – the immigrant community does not see these issues as a priority. I must admit that I was a little disappointed that there were not more immigrant and second generation immigrant attendees at the conference, but it only shows that we have more work to do in educating the masses on the importance of these issues to all of us as Muslims and not only the black ones. In short, immigrant and second generation immigrant Muslims must see the issues of Blackamericans as their issue as much as any Blackamerican does. We must work to solve these problems together
it astounds me until today why immigrant parents never seriously look at Blackamerican Muslims to see how they’ve adopted Islam into their American lifestyles
The issue here is that indigenous Muslims (culturally speaking) are nothing other than American. It is when converts are told that they must adopt a new culture (Pakistani/Arab) that the confusion begins. If we stop seeing a contradiction between being American and Muslim, this will go a long way towards solving this crisis of identity. Similarly with second generation immigrants, once they stop seeing the ‘contradiction’, they will be able to feel more comfortable in their identity and stop being ABC’s (American Born Confused) to being ABMWC’s (American Born Muslims Without Confusion)